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Reno County seeks to try teen as adult in fire

Published on -10/3/2013, 3:27 PM

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- After waiting for his parents and younger sister to go to bed upstairs, a 14-year-old Hutchinson boy poured gasoline throughout the downstairs rooms twice to "do a thorough job," then soaked the doorways and stairway to block their escape before setting the fire, a prosecutor said in a court document.

The ghastly details emerged after Reno County District Attorney Keith Schroeder filed a motion Tuesday to try the teen as an adult on charges of first-degree murder of his mother and 11-year-old sister and attempted murder of his father. He also is charged with aggravated arson in the Sept. 26 fire.

Schroeder wrote in the filing that the teen considered the victims to be "loving and caring," and confessed to planning and carrying out the crimes.

"He wanted people to die. He set the fire to his home with a design to kill," according to court documents. "He thinks human life, other than his own, is worthless. He believes all persons are awful."

The youth also told investigators he was working on a plan with others to detonate bombs with "pulse detectors" in Washington, D.C., according to the filing. The teen also allegedly said he had considered a "sword attack" at Buhler High School in Buhler, Kan.

Defense attorney Gregory Bell did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Schroeder told the court in the filing that the teen should be tried as an adult because he is an extreme danger to the community, noting his own father is afraid of him. The prosecutor wrote that the youth has "openly declared he is a danger to people in the future and indicated he might harm other teens in detention."

As a juvenile, he would be under the court's jurisdiction until he turns 23. If convicted as an adult, he'd face a life prison sentence.

The teen has also professed that he would "do this again" if released, Schroeder said.

Schroeder noted that the teen is extremely intelligent, articulate and has no history of mental illness. He had a 3.71 grade point average at the time of the fire and "openly considers himself superior in intellect to others," Schroeder said.

"He has shown no remorse and is unemotional about killing his mother and sister," according to court documents. The boy also told detectives that, "We're all going to die eventually," and showed the most concern about his gray cat, the court filing says.

In support of its request, the state said its evidence against him is overwhelming, adding it will submit to the court his video confession.

He is scheduled for a first court appearance on Oct. 22, although proceedings likely to remain closed unless the court authorizes the state to prosecute him as an adult.

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